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Ancient hunters may have made spear points or arrowheads out of human bone

David Lyons/Alamy

Stone Age hunters in northern Europe made the sharp ends of their weapons from a surprising raw material: human bone. The choice may have had a symbolic purpose, such as imbuing the arrows with the skill of a dead expert hunter.

Before the arrival of farmers, Europe was inhabited by Stone Age hunter-gatherers. They roamed a landscape very different to today. The planet was deep in a glacial period, so lots of water was locked up in ice sheets at the poles – and sea levels …